Funnyman Jonah Hill (Superbad) is not only a talented actor (he’s getting Oscar buzz on his portrayal of Peter Brand in Moneyball) but he is also a writer. As a kid, he wanted to write for The Simpsons and SNL. Well now, he’s the co-creator, co-writer, executive producer and voices to the lead in new Fox’s animated series called Allen Gregory.
The comedy series follows the wise-beyond-his-years, pretentious seven-year-old, Allen Gregory, who lived a charmed pre-school life hanging out with Sandra Bullock, allegedly composed operas, written novels and dated Chloë Sevigny. Raised in the lap of luxury, his family has fallen on hard times when one of his two dads made bad investments. He is forced to leave the safety of his other dad’s homeschooling and attend to public school with children his own age as his dad, Jeremy, decided to go back to work.
His mature ways make it hard for him to fit in as in his first day of school he sits down at lunch with his Louis Vuitton picnic basket, pulls out some sushi and a bottle of pinot grigio, and asks the kids if they caught Charlie Rose. He promptly gets food thrown at him. His struggle to adjust is not limited to his classmates as he clashes with the faculty as well. His first meeting with his much-older principal takes a special (and somewhat creepy) turn.
He may have a hard time at school but at home (a stunning architectural loft), he is the apple of his doting father’s eye. Allen and his dad, Richard, have an extraordinary father-son bond that is sometimes annoyingly interrupted by Richard’s boy toy/life partner, Jeremy. He is pampered by his fathers, much to the chagrin Julie, adopted Cambodian older sister.
Allen Gregory joins the list of cartoon kid geniuses. But while Dexter (Dexter’s Lab) was all about inventing cool gadgets in his secret lab while trying to evade his annoying sister, Stewie (Family Guy) who’s obsessed with world domination and matricide, Jimmy Neutron is about having fun adventures with his friends and Zim (Invader Zim) was all about invading Earth (okay, so technically Zim’s an alien but he pretended to be a kid)… Allen Gregory, at the heart of his story is about an outsider, who may put on a tough exterior but deep down, when all he wants is to fit in. Well, that, and for Julie to run away and never be seen or heard from again. And Jeremy, too.
The premise, a fish-out-of-water kid, might not be original but the eclectic characters makes it an interesting show. I’m fascinated with how more and more TV kids have same sex parents like Lily of Modern Family and Rachel of Glee. And the adopted Cambodian older sister? How very Brangelina. This looks like a promising show and the fact that it’s an animated series, it can get away with things that regular shows can’t.
Allen Gregory Characters
- Allen Gregory DeLongpre: Potentially the most clever, entitled and pretentious child on earth. For his father, Richard, he is worldly, artistic and romantic. Due to financial reasons, he is forced to attend elementary school, which he considers is his greatest challenge yet.
- Richard DeLongpre: The proud birth father of Allen Gregory. In his eyes, his boy genius could do no wrong. Married to the younger, handsome Jeremy, Richard can be controlling, selfish and stubborn. But he is nothing but loving and nurturing toward his son. Allen Gregory means the world to him.
- Jeremy DeLongpre: Richard’s life partner-husband whom Allen Gregory has minimal respect, if any at all. A gorgeous brute who took Richard’s last name when they became husband and husband several years ago. He is shy and lacks confidence, but he has a huge heart. He has decided to go back to work, which causes quite a stir with Allen Gregory since Jeremy was responsible for his home-schooling.
- Patrick: the one kid at school who sees something special in Allen Gregory and looks up to him. And Allen Gregory thinks Patrick is special for realizing his specialness. Allen’s delusional behavior can sometimes give Patrick slight pause buy his easy-breezy attitude enables him to quickly shrug it off. He quickly becomes Allen Gregory’s best friend/assistant.
- Julie DeLongpre: Allen’s 11-year-old adopted sister from Cambodia. She absolutely despises Allen Gregory, if not both of her fathers and life in general. At school she has her two best friends, Beth and Val, but they aren’t exactly high on the social structure. So she isn’t looking forward to Allen Gregory coming and rubbing his perfectness in her face day in and day out. But Julie is surprised/elated by the discovery that her brother isn’t accepted by the other kids.
- Principal Judith Gottlieb: the 68-year-old principal. Has a unique relationship with Allen.
- Gina Winthrop: Allen’s by-the-book second grade teacher he prefers to refer to by her first name instead of Mrs. Winthrop as is customary.
- Superintendent Stewart Rossmyre: school superintendent who believes the De Longpres are a tremendous asset to the school.
- Joel Zadak: the school’s popular stud whom Allen is desperate to be best friends with.
- Jonah Hill as Allen Gregory DeLongpre
- French Stewart as Richard DeLongpre
- Nat Faxon as Jeremy DeLongpre
- Christina Puccelli as Patrick
- Joy Osmanski as Julie
- Will Forte as Superintendent Rossmyre
- Renée Taylor as Principal Gottlieb
- Leslie Mann as Gina Winthrop
October 30, 2011 (SUNDAYS), 8/7c on FOX